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Is this the connected home’s wave of the future?

June 10, 2013 12:44 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Blogs | Comments

Here’s some news that will make couch potatoes everywhere rejoice: Computer scientists at the University of Washington have come up with a sensorless and cameraless way to detect human movements, allowing for gesture control of their electronics and household appliances.

Yes, manufacturing is back in the U.S.

June 10, 2013 10:56 am | by Harry Moser, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

PD&D Executive Editor David Mantey recently published the article “Is It Possible to Bring Manufacturing Back to the U.S.?” The article offers some good insight on the reshoring debate, as well as some common misinterpretation of the subject. Mr. Mantey and his subject Mr. Young acknowledge that reshoring, or not offshoring, has become a viable alternative in the consciousness of the business world.

Right angle Category 5E cable assemblies provide additional EMI protection

June 7, 2013 1:57 pm | L-Com Global Connectivity | Product Releases | Comments

L-com, Inc. has continued releasing new right angle Ethernet cable assembly lines with its new shielded right angle Cat 5e cable assemblies with low-smoke, zero halogen (LSZH) jackets. The new cables are expected to provide additional electro-magnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference    

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DIY hot-air iron

June 5, 2013 10:20 am | by M. Simon, Technical Contributor | Blogs | Comments

A while back, I wrote a column on fine-pitch soldering. Several commenters noted that a hot-air soldering iron was the hand tool of choice when it came to fine pitch soldering by hand. So I decided to look up the tools and found that they were out of my price range. I still wanted one.

Capturing lost revenue: 5 steps for semiconductor companies

June 5, 2013 9:17 am | by Greenberg, senior director of business development at Model N Inc. | Blogs | Comments

The global economy is on the upswing in 2013, which means semiconductor companies have a great opportunity to reap the benefits. According to analyst firm IHS, revenue is expected to grow 6.4 percent this year after two straight years of decline.

Top 10 must-read posts from May

June 4, 2013 12:04 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Here’s a rundown of the most read, most popular, most awesome articles on the web. Take a look at what you missed the first time around or check up on an old favorite to see the conversation in the comments. Keep checking out the Lead at www.ecnmag.com....

Rugged connectors created for harsh environments

June 3, 2013 10:57 am | Product Releases | Comments

Molex Incorporated supports challenging industrial automation, aerospace and defence network connectivity with its compact Brad® Nano-Change® (M8) connectors.  The rugged Nano-Change product line offers the industry’s broadest selection of space-saving connectors, cordsets, receptacles, inserts, splitters and moulded junction boxes for sensor and actuator applications.

Rice's breakthrough in carbon nanotubes

June 3, 2013 9:49 am | by M. Simon, Technical Contributor | Blogs | Comments

Rice University has been making considerable progress in devising methods to manufacture carbon nanotubes (CNT) for use as electrical conductors. The breakthrough came in 2003.Rice’s breakthrough stems from the fact that the researchers are using a wet method to produce the CNT thread.

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Flat cables ideal for critical automotive assembly plant applications

May 30, 2013 2:12 pm | Cicoil Corp. | Product Releases | Comments

Ideal for critical applications in automotive assembly plants, Cicoil’s highly durable Flexx-Sil Flat Cables are the optimal alternative to cumbersome round cables, unprotected wire harnesses and space consuming cable carriers. In addition, these highly flexible cables are designed to provide premium current carrying capacity....

Companies can’t help the government help itself to your private electronic communications – for now

May 28, 2013 2:08 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Articles | Comments

If nothing else, those television commercials for Microsoft’s privacy campaign really make me stand back and wonder. Usually I ask myself why the company suddenly embraces user privacy. Do they really think that Bing is going to make a measureable dent in Google’s search dominance, or do they have some kind internal or external data that suggests Americans are at least little concerned about online privacy?

“Cloud” signals dark days for software buyers

May 23, 2013 4:06 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Blogs | Comments

The software industry is now making its predictable push toward fully cloud-based business models and leaving customer preference in the dustbin. Earlier this month, Adobe decided it will discontinue its Creative Suite product line and replace it with its Adobe Creative Cloud, which is

Epoxy mount socket operates at bandwidths up to 8 GHz

May 22, 2013 3:12 pm | Ironwood Electronics, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Ironwood Electronics has recently introduced a new high-performance BGA socket for 0.8mm pitch BGA 78 pin DDR3 packages. The SG-BGA-6374 socket is designed for an 9x13 mm package size and operates at bandwidths up to 8 GHz with less than 1dB of insertion loss.

The future of food: NASA's printed pizza

May 22, 2013 1:50 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

In the great world of 3D printing, nothing is more fascinating to me than the idea of printed food.  There has been some rumblings about printed meat, but it’s been mostly outliers in the industry. However, NASA just made it a little more legitimate with by offering a $125,000 grant to Systems and Materials Research Corp to develop a 3D printed version of an American (and worldwide) favorite: Pizza.

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Designing for heat

May 21, 2013 9:53 am | by M. Simon, Technical Contributor | Articles | Comments

I want to start off with a look at the four methods of cooling: conduction, convection, radiation, and pumping. What? They don't teach the four methods of cooling in physics class? Only the first three? The fourth method is a combination of the first three with the addition of pumps.

Charge your phone in 20 seconds

May 20, 2013 4:19 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

What’s the key to charging your phone (and other small electronics) in the blink of an eye? Invent a better supercapacitor, according to Eesha Khare, an 18-year-old, from California who was just awarded Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award and $50,000 at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for her project...

Lower healthcare costs could mean less human interaction

May 20, 2013 3:23 pm | by Stephanie Carmichael, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

For those who live alone, good medical care is all the more important. The machine-to-machine (M2M) communications business is growing, and the prevalence of wireless connectivity could push down the price of healthcare for the elderly, especially — but at the greater cost of human interaction.

Fire human resources

May 20, 2013 10:31 am | by M. Simon, Technical Contributor | Blogs | Comments

Management Consultant Dave Logan at CBS Moneywatch is warning companies to avoid falling in love with company policy. He talks about a company that wanted to hire a very disruptive genius. But HR said it wasn't possible because they had no job description for the function envisioned. And besides the guy was obviously a poor fit and a possible cause for resentment by the rest of the employees.

This is what a 1950s robot looks like

May 20, 2013 10:11 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

It’s pretty crazy when you think about how far technology has come in the past five years, let alone the past 50 years. Recently, we talked about different humanoid robots, including DARPA’s PETMAN and the Alphadog Proto, a humanoid robot used to test protective clothing and a 4-legged battlefield companion, respectively.

What are the biggest LED challenges, according to engineers

May 17, 2013 10:06 am | by Editor | Blogs | Comments

With Lightfair in the rearview mirror and being dominated by LEDs, lighting has become an intense debate in the industry. What we want to know is what you think about the future of LEDs. We know our readers have varied opinions and valuable experiences – now here’s a great opportunity to showcase them. Send us an answer to the question below and if we think yours is great...

The future of Google Glass

May 16, 2013 3:49 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

 There has been a lot of talk about Google Glass lately, mostly due to the prototype debut, but one interesting aspect of that public viewing is that developers –outside of GoogleLand—can take a crack at coming up with interesting uses for the technology. By allowing new voices into the conversation, the world is seeing even more possibilities for Google Glass. 

Dealing with counterfeits in the market

May 16, 2013 2:53 pm | by George Karalias, Director of Marketing & Communications, Rochester Electronics | Blogs | Comments

Counterfeiters are adaptable and constantly incorporating solutions that can void the latest countermeasures adopted by the electronics manufacturers and their supply chain. In some cases, the counterfeits are very hard to differentiate from the original component.

Welcoming grandma into our virtual future

May 16, 2013 1:27 pm | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Blogs | Comments

A virtual reality (VR) headset by the name of Oculus Rift made a big splash on Kickstarter, raising a stellar $2.43 million to get development kits into the hands and on the noggins of game developers. And now that the units have started to ship, people in the gaming community are getting treated to video after video of people wearing the goggles and trying to explain just how floored they are....

IDC connectors intended for harsh commercial, industrial, and energy applications

May 16, 2013 12:54 pm | Avx Corporation | Product Releases | Comments

AVX Corporation has introduced the latest iteration of its wire-to-board (WTB) insulation displacement contact (IDC) technology.  Designed to provide a gas-tight, plated through-hole WTB termination, the new 9177-600 Series is compatible with the rugged power boards used to handle larger wire gauges and more amps per contact....

Much ado about nothing: The impact of the medical device excise tax

May 15, 2013 1:32 pm | by Michael Lewis, Writer, Money Crashers Personal Finance | Blogs | Comments

Students of military strategy learn quickly the advantages of choosing when and where to fight, rather than wasting resources on trivial issues. An impartial observer would wonder about the wisdom of the excessive rhetoric, over-the-top hyperbole, and political posturing surrounding the medical device excess tax.

Open innovation spurs ultimate American success

May 14, 2013 4:35 pm | by Louise Rainone, Vice President of Marketing, PCDworks | Blogs | Comments

Under Armour is always a great example of innovation as a whole. The company began with an idea, a need and pure hunger to be the best, and it has become the ultimate American success story. UA has a candid approach to roundtable conversations. They sit down and talk about a technology’s strengths and weaknesses; ponder the potential length of time-to-market; and have heart-to-heart conversations to explain the contract.

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